For those real estate junkies who can’t get enough facts, stats and analysis, you might get a kick out of studying the history of entry-level purchases in this city, starting, let’s say, around 1970.
I first started paying attention to real estate prices in 1972 when I completed my schooling as a Property Tax Assessor and was hired by the City of Toronto to appraise houses and businesses. At that time, our neighbourhoods were not identified in terms of average prices, days on the market, average income etc. like they are today. There were the rich neighbourhoods of Forest Hill and Rosedale and there were all the rest.
If you were a first time buyer in the 1970’s, your options were huge. Most of the houses downtown hadn’t yet been renovated so if you were willing to live in a dump, you could buy in Cabbagetown or the Annex for a reasonable price. For those willing to cross the valley into Riverdale and Leslieville, or drive west of Bathurst to High Park, the bargains were plentiful. Downtown was the place to be so the demand outside the core was low.
Over time, thanks to people like Darrell Kent (my old real estate mentor), the downtown houses began to be restored and appreciated for what they were…historic gems with exquisite period features such as stained glass windows, marble fireplace mantels etc. This movement pushed the entry level buyers further from the downtown core and that trend continues to this day. The city began to grow out.
Fast forward to 2015. No more horizontal expansion. Houses (detached, semi etc.) are almost out of reach for most entry level purchasers. These buyers are now looking upward. Condos are the thing, and have been for quite some time. The speed with which we are expanding up is dizzying in real estate terms.
Not so long ago, condos went from being a hard sell to an easier sell. Now, bidding wars are not uncommon. What’s next? Bidding wars on “assignments”? Bidding wars on condo projects that haven’t broken ground? Good grief! Such a time here in this great city.
Duncan Fremlin Broker RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd.